NIGERIA’S senior women’s football team, Super Falcons, on Tuesday, December 5, picked the ticket for the 13th edition of the Women Africa Cup of Nations after edging Cape Verde 2-1 at the Santiago-Estádio Nacional Cabo Verde in Praia.
The ICIR reported how the Super Falcons pummeled Cape Verde, 5-0, in the first leg of the qualification series at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
The outcome of both home and away results sums to a 7-1 aggregate win in favour of the Super Falcons, earning them a qualification ticket to the championship billed to be held next year in Morocco.
Unfazed by the Super Falcons’ five-goal margin in Nigeria, Cape Verde began seeking redemption after scoring a goal in the nine minutes through Ivania Tavares Moreira, who slotted in the ball past Nigeria’s goalkeeper Chiamaka.
The early goal ignited the possibility of a miracle for the host country to clear the deficit of the remaining four goals.
They won a couple of corner kicks in the process, but the Super Falcons expressed confidence, displaying their panache of an unbroken streak of appearances since the tournament’s inception in 1991.
The resumption of the second half saw the introduction of Esther Onyenezide and Esther Okoronkwo for Peace Efih and Uchenna Kanu.
Super Falcons coach Justin Madugu’s substitution paid off. Okoronkwo levelled the scores 11 minutes into the game but was cancelled after she was judged for off-side.
Six minutes later, Okoronkwo, who got a brace during the first leg in Abuja, pulled a goal to level the score for Nigeria.
After the goal, Nigeria dominated possessions, cancelling the hope for their host. Captain Rasheedat Ajibade could have doubled the lead in the 71st minute, but her attempt exceeded the crossbar.
The last straw that broke the camel’s back came in the 87 minutes through Ajibade, whose goal sealed the ticket for the Super Falcons to fly to Morocco.
The Super Falcons have won the title nine times.
Apart from AFCON qualification, the team is also in the race to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The Falcons will face Cameroon early next year in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers.